My mother has onset of Alzheimers and she is not yet bad enough to go into a nursing home or assisted living, and she lives in Michigan. We want her to stay in her home and be as independent as possible for as long as she can, but she can not stay by herself or drive, per her doctor. We have found a person through her church who is retired herself and she stated that she would love to stay with mom (known mom for 13 yrs) day and/or night. We will be offering to pay her and she stated that she is grateful for the extra income. How do we justified that for when we have to look at medicaid for mom. Also, I plan on quitting my job in end of July and moving back to Michigan and take care of her for as long as I can, but for me to do that I will need to sell my home in Missouri. My brother stated if I do that, that after mom goes into nursing home or passes away that he has no problem that I can stay in mom's house. Am I able to do that? Should my brother and I get my mother's house deeded to us? How will that affect my mother. If I sell my current home and move up there and if I take care of her for 5 years, I will be in my upper 60's and if I can't keep the house I will be without a home....Any information you can provide is greatly appreciated.

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I think MI allows for a Lady Bird deed (Enhanced Benefit Trust) to be done. If so (go & see a Michigan elder law attorney), I'd look into that route for the house as it avoids probate. Probate is how - legally - the MERP (Medicaid Estate Recovery Program) claim or lien is enforced. Mom keeps the house for her lifetime (which often can mean lots lower taxes, etc on the property), then upon her death, it becomes the property to whomever is indicated in the Lady Bird deed OUTSIDE of probate. But you need skilled knowledgeable Michigan legal to do this for you all.

Now realize that if mom keeps the house and then later on need to go into a NH and applies for Medicaid to pay for the NH, Medicaid will require a co-pay of all of mom's income to go to the NH. (Actually not all, they get a monthly personal needs allowance but it's like 35 - 90 a month so no real $ there, lol) Everything on the house, will need to be paid by others. So all taxes, utilities, insurance etc and for the rest of mom's life as she remains the owner of the home. So keep that in mind, but I would imagine you can use the proceeds of your house sale for all this. Just keep documentation on what you pay for and keep all your monies separate from anything financial from mom's.

Really get experienced elder law to review the options under MI law. Good luck
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You draw up a contract for the person moving in. They will have tenant's rights. You have to do payroll taxes and withholding must be sent in. If the live-in does not work out, you have to follow the eviction process.
If the house is deeded to you and Mom needs Medicaid within five years, Medicaid will penalize her. If she goes into Medicaid after 5 years, you may be exempt. If you leave the house in her name and you are living there and caring for her more than 2 years, and she needs a nursing home, you will be allowed to stay there, but you will not be able to sell the home, as Medicaid will have a lien on the property. Medicaid now expects all assets to be used for the care of the patient, any money unaccounted for will be a penalty.
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Your mother is expected to spend her money on her own care. Paying a companion/caregiver should not be a problem for lookback.

If you live in your mother's home caring for her such that it keeps her out of a nursing home, your mother may give you the house. Deeding it to you in advance would create a problem in the look-back period.

The church lady -- where will she go when you move in? Will she stay on with you?

Medicaid is not only for long term care facilities, but has many benefits to keep people in the community, such as in-home care, incontinence supplies, paying for adult daycare programs, etc. You do not need to wait until she is ready for a nursing home to apply.

This whole situation is worth a consultation with an attorney who specializes in Elder Law. Paying for advice now is better than making a mistake!
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